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Wage bargaining, Labor-tax progression, and welfare

Author

Listed:
  • Fuest, Clemens
  • Huber, Bernd

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effect of labor-tax progression on employment and welfare in an economy with a unionized labor market. The government influences wage bargaining through its tax policies. Wages can be reduced by increasing the marginal labor-tax rate. If there are no restrictions on profit taxation, a first-best optimum with full employment is realized; this first-best optimum can always be implemented by a progressive tax schedule. If profit taxation is restricted, unemployment may arise. For this case, we show that the welfare-maximizing degree of tax progression is influenced by a variety of factors, in particular the wage elasticity of labor demand, the distribution of bargaining power, and the existence of unemployment benefits. Examples are given for both progressive and regressive tax structures. Comparative-static analysis reveals that a decline in union bargaining power, an increase in unemployment benefits, and an increase in the overall work force reduce the efficient degree of tax progression.

Suggested Citation

  • Fuest, Clemens & Huber, Bernd, 1997. "Wage bargaining, Labor-tax progression, and welfare," Munich Reprints in Economics 20302, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:20302
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tuomala, Matti, 1990. "Optimal Income Tax and Redistribution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286059.
    2. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1987. "Pareto efficient and optimal taxation and the new new welfare economics," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 15, pages 991-1042 Elsevier.
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    7. Lockwood, Ben & Manning, Alan, 1993. "Wage setting and the tax system theory and evidence for the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-29, August.
    8. Palokangas, Tapio, 1987. "Optimal Taxation and Employment Policy with a Centralized Wage Settin g," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(4), pages 799-812, December.
    9. Marceau, Nicolas & Boadway, Robin, 1994. " Minimum Wage Legislation and Unemployment Insurance as Instruments for Redistribution," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(1), pages 67-81.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aronsson, Thomas & Micheletto, Luca, 2017. "Optimal Redistributive Income Taxation and Efficiency Wages," Umeå Economic Studies 953, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    2. Thomas Aronsson & Tomas Sjögren, 2010. "Optimal income taxation and social norms in the labor market," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 17(1), pages 67-89, February.
    3. Aronsson, Thomas & Wikström, Magnus, 2011. "Optimal Tax Progression: Does it Matter if Wage Bargaining is Centralized or Decentralized?," Umeå Economic Studies 829, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    4. Thomas Aronsson, 2010. "Welfare Measurement, Involuntary Unemployment, And Heterogeneity," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(3), pages 559-571, September.
    5. Aronsson, Thomas & Sjögren, Tomas, 2005. "Externalities, Border Trade and Illegal Production: An Optimal Tax Approach to Alcohol Policy," Umeå Economic Studies 654, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    6. Thomas Aronsson & James R. Walker, 2010. "Labor Supply, Tax Base and Public Policy in Sweden," NBER Chapters,in: Reforming the Welfare State: Recovery and Beyond in Sweden, pages 127-158 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Tomas Kögel, 2005. "On Substituting Consumption Taxes for Unemployment Insurance Contributions to Reduce Unemployment," Discussion Paper Series 2005_11, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Sep 2005.
    8. Thomas Aronsson Aronsson & Thomas Jonsson & Tomas Sjögren, 2006. "Environmental Policy and Optimal Taxation in a Decentralized Economic Federation," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(3), pages 437-454, September.
    9. Aronsson, Thomas & Persson, Lars & Sjögren, Tomas, 2006. "Optimal Taxation and Transboundary Externalities - Are Endogenous World Market Prices Important?," Umeå Economic Studies 699, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    10. Aronsson, Thomas & Wehke, Sven, 2008. "Public goods, unemployment and policy coordination," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 285-298, May.
    11. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2014. "Optimal Taxation of Top Labor Incomes: A Tale of Three Elasticities," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 230-271, February.
    12. Boeters, Stefan, 2011. "Optimal tax progressivity in unionised labour markets: What are the driving forces?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 2282-2295, September.
    13. Aart Gerritsen, 2016. "Equity and Efficiency in Rationed Labor Markets," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2016-04, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    14. Aronsson, Thomas & Sjogren, Tomas, 2004. "Efficient taxation, wage bargaining and policy coordination," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2711-2725, December.
    15. Aronsson, Thomas & Koskela, Erkki, 2008. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation and Provision of Public Input Goods in an Economy with Outsourcing and Unemployment," Umeå Economic Studies 759, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    16. repec:eee:pubeco:v:153:y:2017:i:c:p:56-68 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Thomas Aronsson & Erkki Koskela, 2008. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation and Provision of Public Input Goods in an Economy with Outsourcing and Unemployment," CESifo Working Paper Series 2481, CESifo Group Munich.
    18. Aronsson, Thomas & Koskela, Erkki, 2009. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation and Provision of Public Input Goods in an Economy with Outsourcing and Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 4196, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Thomas Aronsson, 2005. "Environmental Policy, Efficient Taxation and Unemployment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 12(2), pages 131-144, March.
    20. Boeters, Stefan & Böhringer, Christoph & Feil, Michael, 2002. "Taxation and unemployment: an applied general equilibrium approach for Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 02-39, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects

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